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Please see Image below, if the output votlage here is 4-5V with current out 3A-15A(depending on LOAD).

Could I stick a Zener diode to clamp any over voltages to protect the load from over voltages?

for example something like this https://www.littelfuse.com/~/media/electronics/product_specifications/polyzen_devices/littelfuse_polyzen_zen056v115a24ls_product_specification.pdf.pdf

enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ i don't think its wise, your output is already regulated through the chip MAX15046 \$\endgroup\$ – Hasan alattar Mar 27 at 9:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ The IC we use has a tenancy to cause over-voltage spikes, destroying the LOAD LED Display Drivers when accidentally touched by engineers, \$\endgroup\$ – Jin Kazama Mar 27 at 9:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ A protection device like you've given the datasheet of can be used but \$I_{HOLD}\$ must be considered since the load current can be as high as 15A. \$\endgroup\$ – Rohat Kılıç Mar 27 at 10:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Typical Operating Characteristics in the datasheet show only 250mV voltage "spikes". Are you seeing voltage spikes of that order? Or a magnitude bigger? If it is a magnitude bigger, then there are probably other problems... It is best to solve the cause rather than mask the effect. \$\endgroup\$ – Huisman Mar 27 at 10:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of Over-voltage protection system for a 7 - 20 A Load with 4 - 5.5 V output from PSU \$\endgroup\$ – Huisman Mar 27 at 10:23
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The IC we use has a tenancy to cause over-voltage spikes, destroying the LOAD LED Display Drivers when accidentally touched by engineers,

If properly designed and constructed systems based on that IC should be "well enough behaved". "Touching" needs to be defined - and what it is equivalent to understood.

If "touching" literally means touching the equipment with a finger then it is clearly marginally stable and the design and/or construction need to be reviewed.

Could I stick a Zener diode to clamp any over voltages to protect the load from over voltages?

  1. A small capacitor across R2 (maybe 100 pF - 1 nF - but experiment and observation may be needed) should improve transient response and reduce spikes.

  2. If the spikes are of limited duration a zener like clamp may help. However, the device that you specified is rated at 1 Watt maximum. Your system can produce up to 5V x 15A = 75W, and while all of that would not appear in a clamp, much of it may depending on the nature of the "spike". A simple and as robust as you wish to make it clamp can be constructed with a voltage sensor and clamp transistor. This could be as simple as a MOSFET (or bipolar transistor) with resistor in it's drain across the Vout line and a zener from Vout to gate with a gate pulldown resistor. You would have to design it to survive power dissipation during a "spike", adequately fast gate turn on and off time.
    Use of a simple overvoltage sense amplifier / comparator would improve FET gate drive conditions. IF the FET is switched on and off rapidly dissipation can be mainly in the drain resistor and you can design it accordingly.

BUT the better solution is to fix what is clearly a marginal design - and perhaps teach your engineers to keep their fingers out? :-)

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